The party’s Home Affairs speaker Ben Duncan has called for cannabis cafes to be licensed in the resort in a bid to boost tourism. The idea comes after a judge ruled a proposed ban on foreign tourists smoking cannabis in the Dutch capital’s coffee shops is not discriminatory against foreigners. A ban will come into effect across Holland by the end of the year with some coffee shop owners warning the ban will cost them up to 90 per cent of their takings and could force them to close their doors for good. Researchers say a third of visitors coming to Amsterdam to smoke cannabis legally will stay away and tourist numbers will fall. “Think of all the millions our shops and hotels would make if all those tourists being turned away from Amsterdam by the Dutch Tories came here to spend their holiday cash instead!” Coun Duncan said. “Of course, in Brighton and Hove, we know only too well the damage that the current drug policy of complete criminalisation of drug use is causing rather than seeing it as a health issue. “Recently Caroline Lucas MP and the city’s top cop, Graham Bartlett called for decriminalisation of drug use and for good reasons. “Cannabis use can be harmful, but all analysis shows that it’s much less likely to harm you than, say, driving a car, or crossing a road. “So what about it? Brighton, the liberal, tolerant, tourist capital of Europe?” He urges that people in Brighton seriously consider the idea “for the sake of our tourist industry and the health and wellbeing of those living in and visiting our city”. “Nonetheless I expect to be misunderstood,” he added. “So I predict the following headline soon: ‘Green Councilllor calls for Brighton to be the Pot Capital of Europe’.” Over eight million people a year visit the south coast resort putting it in the top ten UK destinations for foreign tourists. Tourism employs around 7,500 people in the area. Duncan writing on his blog claims it’s not just the Dutch tourist industry that will be affected, the move will also mean locals wishing to buy cannabis will be forced to buy their ‘weed’ from less regulated suppliers, leading to a likely upsurge in hard drug use.
via : Telegraph
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